Honing In on What’s Most Important

to the Editor

I have a another perspective
to Jann
re: Coach training.

There are a number of components
to both the topic and her letter.

The first is what might be broadly
termed the coaching process skill sets. For example, of communication,
building rapport, listening, inquiry, dialogue, feedback,
recognising conflict styles etc; the understanding of adult
learning principles, change, problem solving skill processes…all
fundamentals that underpin effective coaching. Then, there
are context specific skills that matter.

Take the example of coaching
a dysfunctial executive team. Provided the person could work
in a business environment,I can't see the problem if the coach
is also a psychologist in this context. It might be that the
background as a psychologist has equipped the individual to
be a more effective coach particularly with an understanding
of group dynamics. On the other hand, the psychologist is
unlikely to coach the team on business strategy and tactics.

We all come to coaching from
some where… Life/work expereince, skills and knowledge.
Credibility to coach often emerges from one's prior work/life
experience, successes and wisdom and then transitions to coaching.
The skills you choose to learn as a coach are therefore multi-faceted.
You may go to one school to learn the finer nuances of communication
skills, another for spirituality, another for deeper values
training, etc. depending on what type of coaching you specialise
in. I see Martin Seligman's – Authentic Happiness Coaching
Program is an example of niche training.

One size doesn't fit all, and
some coaches are going to come to coaching with MBA's and
Ph.D's and some won't. What matters is that the coaches choose
an area of coaching where they have relevent skills knowledge
that compliment their coach training. Most importantly they
have the awareness and ability to know what they can and can't

As for Marshal
…for my book, he's a good example for the profession.


Liz Barrett

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